I Made A Dress For Spring (Vintage 1970s Sewing Pattern)

A few months ago, while I was still in the midst of trying to settle into a new life in the States, I decided to get everyone on Instagram to help me decide on a sewing project. The majority of the folks voted for a vintage sewing pattern using this navy floral fabric. I started this sewing project in the middle of winter and as life would have it, a snowstorm (and many other things) happened in between. Fast forward, spring has sprung and I finished this dress in time to enjoy it in spring! Here’s all the details of the dress I made for spring using a vintage 1970s sewing pattern. Sewing the dress for spring Fabric This navy floral fabric is something I purchased from a brick and mortar store in Chinatown in Singapore several years ago. I am not usually a fan of big floral prints but this one really stood out to me. More importantly, it was on sale and boasted a great fabric width. More width, more fabric per yard! I also have the same design in a white colourway, as shown in the Instagram voting screenshots above. That fabric is in the queue for another sewing project later this year.. hopefully in spring! Pattern The pattern I used is the vintage 1973 Butterick 3148. At this point, I can’t really remember where I bought this sewing pattern. But as you can see in the Instagram screenshot above, my pattern has some pretty darning deterioration in the pattern envelope. The pattern piece for the short sleeve is also missing! But I managed to overcome that by using the pattern piece for the long sleeve. Sewing notes and modifications Here are some additional details on how I modified the pattern to fit my body (5′ 2″ / 157cm and B31 W 25 H 37). I am also sharing the cute sewing details I added to my dress to make it a special! Modifying the pattern to fit my body The Butterick 3148 vintage pattern I have is in Size 8 (Bust 32″), which is pretty close to my size. But, as with most sewing patterns, I made a small bust adjustment and a hollow back adjustment. To do this, I simply folded the desired width on the paper pattern lengthwise, tapering off towards the waist of the dress. I also adjusted the facings of the dress according to the adjustments I made to the front and back dress pattern pieces. After checking the length of the dress, I also decided that it was too long for my height. I ended up hacking 2″ off along the hem of the pattern. Changing the original pattern design and instructions There are 2 differences I made to the original vintage pattern – interfacing application and the design of the short sleeve. As mentioned, my paper pattern is missing the pattern piece for the short sleeve. Fortunately, the pattern piece for the long sleeve is still intact and I simply modified the pattern piece to make a short sleeve. To do this, I traced out the pattern piece for the long sleeve, shortening it to my desired length. After that, I slashed and spread the pattern piece to create more volume along the hem of the pattern piece for the short sleeve. After attaching the sleeve to the dress, I finished the hem, then attached a 1/4″ elastic approximately 1/2″ from the finished hem of the sleeves to create a ruffled look along the hem. When I do make the same dress again, I would definitely add more slash and spread points to create an even bigger volume to the sleeves. Sewing additional details For this dress that I made for spring, I also took the time to make the finishing cute and pretty. In the past, I didn’t really pay much attention to the wrong-side of the garments for most of my sewing projects. However, at this stage of my sewing journey, I am really starting to learn to enjoy the process of making and adding little details to my handmade garments. I sealed the facing with a bias binding that I made using the same fabric in the white colourway. After finishing the raw edges of the facing, I had enough bias tape left and decided to use the rest of it to bind the back centre seam as well. I also added my personal pink clothes tag on the back facing. The rest of the raw seams are finished with a small zig-zag stitch. I don’t own a serger yet and this method of finishing raw edges is efficient and effective! Recreating this dress I made for spring At the time of writing, there is 1 Butterick 3148 available for sale on eBay here. If you like working with vintage patterns, check out vintage sewing patterns from the 1970s for similar dresses with the same A-line silhouette and puffy sleeves. Use Pinterest because it is really good at recommending similar designs! The vintage Simplicity 9446 (currently available here) is one example. Have you made a dress for spring yet? Let me know what you think about my dress and share some similar patterns you know of in the comments! x

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I Made A Dress For Spring (Vintage 1970s Sewing Pattern)